Skip to Content

A Guide to the Best Camping in Washington

Washington state offers a plethora of camping experiences, ranging from coastal retreats and rainforest escapes to high-alpine adventures and riverfront getaways.

Whether you’re pitching a tent, parking an RV, or settling into a cozy yurt, the state’s well-maintained parks and campgrounds await with an invitation to disconnect from the daily grind and immerse yourself in nature’s serenity.

A Guide to the Best Camping in Washington 1

Key Takeaways

  • Washington’s diverse camping options cater to all types of outdoor enthusiasts.
  • An efficient reservation system simplifies planning a camping trip in Washington.
  • The state offers a balance of comfort and natural preservation for campers.

Planning Your Camping Adventure in Washington

A mountain view in Washington State.

In Washington State, one has a diverse range of camping options, from RV parks to remote tent sites. Here’s how to secure the perfect spot and ensure a smooth camping trip.

Selecting the Right Campsite

When choosing a campsite in Washington, campers should consider the type of experience they desire. Options include:

  • RV Campgrounds: Ideal for those seeking comfort and convenience. They often provide hook-ups and amenities.
  • Tent Sites: For a more traditional camping experience, often in closer proximity to nature.
  • Cabins and Yurts: Offer a rustic yet comfortable stay, usually found within state parks.
  • Vacation Houses: Suitable for large groups or families looking for a home away from home.

One should also consider the location and its proximity to activities or landscapes they wish to explore, such as forests, mountains, or coastal areas.

Making Reservations

To ensure availability, especially during the busy summer months, campers should:

  1. Identify Desired Dates: Peak seasons may require booking months in advance.
  2. Use Online Reservation Systems: Websites like provide a streamlined process to reserve state park campsites. For private campgrounds, resources like or are valuable.
  3. Check Reservation Details: Be aware of check-in times and any quiet hours enforced by the campsite.
  4. Book Early: The earlier one books, the more options they will have. Certain sites open reservations up to 9 months in advance.

By carefully considering the type of camping experience and booking in advance, campers can enjoy a memorable outdoor adventure in Washington.

Washington State Parks and Natural Attractions

A Guide to the Best Camping in Washington 2

Washington State offers a rich mosaic of national parks, each boasting its own unique landscape. From the volcanic majesty of Mount Rainier to the rugged wilderness of the North Cascades and the diverse ecosystems of Olympic National Park, outdoor enthusiasts find a myriad of opportunities to explore the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty.

Discovering Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park is a beacon for visitors seeking to gaze upon its iconic, snow-capped peak. The park encompasses Mount Rainier, a 14,410-foot stratovolcano that dominates the surrounding landscape. The park is replete with trails that meander through lush forests and past freshwater lakes, providing breathtaking vistas and opportunities for wildlife viewing. It lies within a couple of hours’ drive from the Seattle metropolitan area, making it an easily accessible natural retreat.

Exploring North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park is a sprawling expanse of jagged peaks, turquoise waters, and pristine wilderness. Recognized for its Cascade Mountains, this park offers a retreat into one of the most biologically diverse landscapes in the world. Visitors can immerse themselves in activities ranging from hiking to freshwater lake exploration. The park is also part of the larger North Cascades National Park Complex, which includes the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas.

Adventures in Olympic National Park

Situated on the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park is a vast, multi-faceted gem encompassing nearly a million acres. It’s renowned for its ecological variety, with regions including rugged coastline, temperate rainforests, and alpine highlands. Visitors might find themselves meandering through moss-laden trees, trekking along wild ocean beaches, or discovering a quiet trail among subalpine meadows. Encompassing the diverse environments of the peninsula, this park is a testament to the natural splendor that thrives in Washington State.

10 Best Places to Go Camping in Washington State

Cougar Rock Campground, Mount Rainier National Park Located on Mount Rainier’s southern side, this campground grants visitors easy access to the Paradise area, known for its stunning vistas and hiking trails.

Rasar State Park Situated on the western edge of the North Cascades, Rasar State Park offers a family-friendly camping experience with amenities and nearly 50 campsites set across 180 acres.

Moran State Park – Orcas Island Part of the picturesque San Juan Islands, Moran State Park boasts a mix of scenic beauty, hiking paths, and opportunities for kayaking and paddling.

Deception Pass State Park As Washington’s most visited state park, Deception Pass is renowned for its accessible beaches, lakes, and an extensive network of trails.

Hoh Rain Forest Campground, Olympic National Park Immerse yourself in the lush, green canopy of the Hoh Rainforest, providing a unique camping experience within the Olympic National Park.

Little Gee Lake, Skagit County This spot offers a more secluded experience, suitable for campers looking for tranquility amid natural surroundings.

Lone Fir Campground, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Experience the solitude of the national forest with amenities that cater to both tent and RV campers.

Lake Wenatchee State Park Campground Nestled near Leavenworth, campers here enjoy stunning lake views and a host of water-based activities.

Colonial Creek Campground, North Cascades National Park Located deep in the North Cascades, this campground is a gateway to alpine experiences and hiking adventures.

Kalaloch Campground, Olympic National Park Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Kalaloch offers campers beach access and the chance to watch spectacular sunsets.

A Guide to the Best Camping in Washington 3

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top-rated fishing campsites in Washington state?

The most acclaimed fishing campsites in Washington state include Steamboat Rock State Park, known for its bass fishing, and Mineral Lake Campground, where anglers can catch trophy-sized trout. These sites offer exceptional fishing experiences along with beautiful natural surroundings.

Which campgrounds in Washington state are considered best for summer camping, specifically in August?

In August, campgrounds such as Olympic National Park’s Sol Duc Campground and Mt. Rainier National Park’s Cougar Rock Campground are top choices. They offer mild weather and are less prone to the rainy conditions that can occur during other seasons.

What are some highly recommended coastal camping spots in Washington?

For camping along the coast, Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park offers stunning ocean views and beach access. Shi Shi Beach is another favored coastal spot, providing a more secluded setting for campers.

Where can I find information on making camping reservations at Washington State parks?

Information on reservations can be found at the Washington State Parks’ official website. Campers can search for campgrounds and make reservations online, ensuring their spot especially during busy summer months.

How do I find maps of campsites within Washington State parks?

Maps of campsites are available on the Washington State Parks website. Campers can also obtain detailed maps at park visitor centers or by contacting the specific state park they plan to visit.

Mount Rainier in Washington State.

Camping in Washington offers an unparalleled experience, with its diverse landscapes ranging from lush rainforests to rugged coastlines. Whether you’re seeking serene solitude or adventurous trails, Washington’s natural beauty provides the perfect backdrop for any camping journey.

So pack your gear, embrace the great outdoors, and discover the unique wonders that make camping in this Pacific Northwest gem truly unforgettable. For more information, check out our camping archive!

Justin Malone

Sunday 17th of June 2018

This article could use a map as a quick reference.

Jake Walnut

Monday 18th of June 2018

Fantastic idea Justin - thank you!


Wednesday 5th of July 2017

im heading to washington in a few weeks, i would love to check these places out!! :)